Bethlehem College Kindergarten - 09/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Bethlehem College Kindergarten

How well placed is Bethlehem College Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Bethlehem College Kindergarten is an all-day education and care service located on the grounds of Bethlehem College in Tauranga. The kindergarten is licensed for 43 children over the age of two years. The kindergarten's roll of 52 includes two Māori children. A significant proportion of children attending the kindergarten are of Asian descent.

Bethlehem College Kindergarten operates under the umbrella of The Christian Education Trust’s Bethlehem Early Learning Centres Ltd (BELC). BELC operates five early learning services in the Bay of Plenty area.

The kindergarten’s head teacher is responsible for leading all aspects of the kindergarten’s operations. She is supported by the BELC centre manager who provides management and professional guidance for all BELC centres.

Since the 2015 ERO review leadership has remained the same and there have been very few changes to the teaching team. The kindergarten's philosophy makes a commitment to ‘a belief that every child is uniquely created and loved by God, and everything we do is informed and based on this belief.'

The kindergarten is a member of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Christian non-Denominational Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

Bethlehem College Kindergarten has a positive ERO reporting history and has made good progress in addressing areas for development in the 2015 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy participating in a rich and broad programme. A feature of the kindergarten is the expansive play spaces that provide opportunities for children to explore, experience safe physical challenge and develop their creativity and imagination. Children enjoy having ready access to a wide range of high-quality resources. Māori children’s language, culture and identity is supported through waiata, karakia, and celebration of important events for Māori. Teachers foster whanaungatanga and manaakitanga throughout the service promoting close and respectful relationships with whānau. They are continuing to develop their confidence in using te reo Māori in their interactions with children. The programme is enhanced by frequent visits into the local and wider community. Children benefit from participating in a programme that is responsive to their language culture and identity.

Transitions into and out of the centre are well managed. A close and long-standing partnership with Bethlehem College supports those children who transition to the college. Teachers are continuing to build relationships with other local schools to support transition processes.

Attractively presented individual portfolios provide parents with a comprehensive record of their children's participation in the programme. These are easily accessible for children as an opportunity for them to revisit their learning.

Teachers work collegially in the best interests of children and their families. They are strongly committed to the centre's Christian philosophy. Teachers have positive and responsive relationships with children and parents. They implement a wide range of effective strategies that promote children’s thinking, creativity and problem solving skills. Teachers skilfully integrate literacy and mathematics learning into children's play. They work closely with outside agencies and parents to support the learning and care of children with diverse needs, including those who have English as a second language. Children's learning and care is effectively promoted through the implementation of responsive teaching practices.

The head teacher provides well-informed leadership. She is highly respected by teachers and parents, and has a successful focus on maintaining a collegial teaching team. The head teacher models effective teaching practice and provides regular feedback to teachers about their teaching. Consideration should now be given to documenting this feedback as part of the teacher appraisal process. The head teacher leads useful self-review processes that contribute to ongoing kindergarten development.

The kindergarten benefits from effective governance from BELC. The knowledgeable centre manager provides good-quality support for the head teacher and teaching team. An appropriate policy framework has been developed to guide centre operations. Well aligned strategic and annual plans guide kindergarten direction and improvement. BELC generously funds the kindergarten to maintain high levels of qualified staff, high-quality resources and low children-to-teacher ratios. A useful framework to support the development of effective self-review practices has been implemented. Leaders and teachers undertake both spontaneous and planned self reviews that contribute to ongoing improvement. Engagement in comprehensive professional development is supporting leaders and teachers' knowledge of in-depth self review and the implications of the revised New Zealand early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and ERO agree that ongoing development of assessment practice should focus on documentation that reflects children's language culture and identity, parent perspectives and children's learning over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bethlehem College Kindergarten completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Bethlehem College Kindergarten will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

9 May 2018

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

43 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 28 Boys 24

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

9 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

June 2008

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.